Tag: PM ScoMO

PM ScoMo bats for “world order that favours freedom with liberal values” ; supports probe into the origins of COVID-19

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Photo- @PerthUSAsia

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 9 June 2021: Australian Prime Minister today minced no words batting for a “world order that favors freedom with liberal values” and cautioned about world instability with a danger of conflict in the Indo-Pacific region. He called the Indo-Pacific an ‘epicenter’ of competition in the region. The Australian Prime Minister was today addressing a select gathering live-streamed and televised at the Perth USAsia Centre ahead of his departure to the G-7 Summit.

The speech without naming focussed on the obvious rising global economic power of China and its influence in the world and the Indo-Pacific region. The PM’s reference to an open liberal society many times in the speech, sniped at the authoritarian set up in China and the challenges it posed to the liberal democracies. That Australia is firmly embedded in the US-led western alliance was laced with many words in the speech.

He said the G-7 countries will emphasize vibrant liberal democracy, open societies, sovereign capacity, countering challenges, and business-led growth. “We cannot be casual about our values,” he said.

Touching the digital and tech issues, the PM said, Our technological edge is “under challenge” and that has to be overcome by us and our allies. Technology should reflect our “shared values”, he said.

The PM referred to Japan and India as being part of the ‘ reliable supply chains’ to meet the emerging global challenges. He also said the World Health Organisation (WHO) be strengthened and the origins of the COVID-19 be investigated.

Morrison added a positive note saying competition in the Indo-Pacific should not lead to conflict and we are ready for dialogue with any country including China.

- The report will be updated.

AFP-led ‘Operation Ironside’ bursts global-linked organised crime in drugs with encrypted messaging app

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 8 June 2021: A joint global operation led by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with America’s FBI, has burst an internationally connected organized crime with an encrypted app, ANoM, a world-leading capability to see encrypted communications used exclusively by organized crime. The encrypted communications – which allegedly included plots to kill, mass drug trafficking, and gun distribution – were decrypted from a platform covertly run by the FBI.

The revelations today came out in an early morning televised media conference by PM Scott Morrison, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, and FBI Legal Attaché US Embassy Anthony Russo from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, Sydney.

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The Australian Prime Minister said the operation was a ‘heavy blow’ stuck against organized crime.

More than 4,000 members from the AFP and state and territory police have been involved in the execution of hundreds of warrants since 7 June 2021, under Operation Ironside, which covertly began three years ago. Operation Ironside led to the arrest of 224 offenders on 526 charges in every mainland Australian state. 3.7 tonnes of drugs, 104 weapons, $44,934,457 million in cash, and assets expected to run into the millions of dollars, have been seized under Operation Ironside since 2018.

The AFP also acted on 20 threats to kill, potentially saving the lives of a significant number of innocent bystanders, with intelligence referred to state police agencies that took immediate action. More arrests are expected domestically and offshore under a coordinated global response connected to Operation Ironside.

The AFP is also likely to seek extradition requests of a number of persons of interest living overseas. It comes as there have been tonnes of drugs and hundreds of arrests overseas. The AFP will allege offenders linked to the Australian-based Italian mafia, outlaw motorcycle gangs, an Asian crime syndicate, and Albanian organized crime are among those charged under Operation Ironside.

Operation Ironside began almost three years ago and is the Australian component of a long-term, international, covert investigation. The FBI and AFP targeted the dedicated encrypted communications platform, which was used exclusively by organized crime.

After working in close partnership on Operation Safe Cracking to take down the encrypted platform provider Phantom Secure, the AFP and FBI worked together to fill the vacuum.
The FBI had access to a new app, named AN0M, and began running it without the knowledge of the criminal underworld.

The AFP provided the highly skilled technical staff, and the capability to decrypt and read encrypted communications in real-time, giving law enforcement an edge it had never had before.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw thanked the FBI for its cooperation, along with the 18 countries that worked with the AFP to maintain the integrity of the platform.

As part of the global operation, more than 9000 officers from law enforcement have deployed to the international efforts. Commissioner Kershaw acknowledged the significant resources provided by Australia’s state and territory police during the days of resolution.

“Today, Australia is a much safer country because of the extraordinary outcome under Operation Ironside,’’ Commissioner Kershaw said.

He said, “It highlights how devastatingly effective the AFP is when it works with local and global partners, and takes its fight against transnational organized crime offshore. This world-first operation will give the AFP, state, and territory police years of intelligence and evidence. There is also the potential for a number of cold cases to be solved because of Operation Ironside. However, tomorrow, and in the future, law enforcement will come up against serious challenges.

AN0M was an influential encrypted communications app but there are even bigger encrypted platforms that are being used by transnational and serious organized criminals targeting Australia. They are almost certainly using those encrypted platforms to flood Australia with drugs, guns and undermine our economy by laundering billions of dollars of illicit profit.

Organized crime syndicates target Australia because sadly, the drug market is so lucrative. Australians are among the world’s biggest drug takers. One of the causes behind domestic violence, sexual assault, neglect of children, and unspeakable tragedy, is illicit drugs. Our first responders, our teachers, and every Australian should be able to go to work and live in our communities without being harmed by an individual under the influence of dangerous drugs.

The app AN0M was installed on mobile phones that were stripped of other capability. The mobile phones, which were bought on the black market, could not make calls or send emails. It could only send messages to another device that had the organized crime app. Criminals needed to know a criminal to get a device.

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The devices organically circulated and grew in popularity among criminals, who were confident of the legitimacy of the app because high-profile organized crime figures vouched for its integrity.”

“These criminal influencers put the AFP in the back pocket of hundreds of alleged offenders. Essentially, they have handcuffed each other by endorsing and trusting AN0M and openly communicating on it – not knowing we were watching the entire time,” Commissioner Kershaw said.

FBI International Operations Division Legal Attaché for Canberra Anthony Russo said criminals around the world had long used encrypted criminal communications platforms to avoid law enforcement detection. The FBI, with our international partners, will continue to adapt to criminal behavior and develop novel approaches to bring these criminals to justice,” he said.
“We appreciate our long-standing partnership with the Australian Federal Police in the fight against transnational organized crime.”

PM ScoMo announces lockdown support payments amidst vaccine undersupply in Victoria

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PM ScoMo addressing media conference, Parliament House, Canberra. Photo- Grab from live.

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 3 June: Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced support payments for those in lockouts for more than seven days. These will be in addition to the already announced support payments for businesses by the Victorian government. The Federal payments will be week by week and fall in categories of $ 500 a week (20 hours + working) and $ 375 a week (less than 20 hours working). These payments will apply to declared ‘Commonwealth Hot Spot” areas, for which Greater Melbourne now qualifies.

The announcements were made live on TV and Facebook by the PM countrywide along with Treasurer David Frydenberg and Minister for Emergency Response David Littleproud from Parliament House’s Blue Room in the afternoon today. The announcements made are similar to payments being made in New Zealand.

The payments will be made to people over 17 with liquid assets less than $ 10,000. The National Cabinet, the PM said, will decide how the payments will be divided between the state and the Federal Government.

Earlier, the undersupply of vaccines in Victoria was highlighted as Acting Premier James Merlino said “vaccination was the only way out of the pandemic but the state was waiting on a greater supply of vaccines from the federal government” (ABC report). Meanwhile, Labor MP Julian Hill attacked the PM today saying, ” He failed the hotel quarantine. He is failing on vaccines. And he is now failing Victoria.”

PM ScoMo: Australia supports sharing Corona vaccine whoever finds it with other countries

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By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 12 May 2021: PM Scott Morrison today reteriated that during the course of the pandemic whoever finds the vaccine needs to share it with the rest of the world. He had last year said this at the UN session. The PM was answering to a question by the South Asia Times (SAT) asking Australia’s for Australia’s stand on India, South Africa’s demand with 100 countries asking for a temporary patent waiver on Corons vaccines.

The PM said, ” We are leading into this.I suppose, the process is being worked through the WHO and many countries have to be on board. And as the Prime Minister of Australia we have a great level of sympathy with it.” The PM was answering to questions by multicultural journalists during an online media conference on the 2021-22 Federal budget.

Commenting on the situatuation in India, PM Morrison said, ” I spoke to the Indian PM Narendra Modi about the serious challenges in India. It’s heart-breaking and we support the Indian people right across India. We understand that the immediate families of residents here caught up in the situation. And , will continue whatever support we can.”

INTERNATIONAL BORDER OPENING

On a question about opening Australia’s international border, the PM said, opening the international border is a hard decision to make. This security is maintained for the security of the country. Living the way we are is also good for our economy and that is why we need to secure our international border.

“I understand the difficulty of Australians overseas and the reality is we are living through thye worst pandamic in the century.

We want a liberal border system but it is not on the horizon now. We have to keep the country safe and that moves the economy.”

” Vaccinated Australians coming and going can be considered,” he said.

Earlier, during his budget opening remarks, PM Morrison said, our economy is strong and we have successfully fought the pandemic. The 2021-22 budget plan is for ‘recovery’, he said.

Link to all the Australian 2021-22 Budget papers.